I'm a Better Writer Now, Right?



Last night I watched Revenge. It was only the second episode I've watched, so I'm still a little confused about some things and I'm too lazy to go look it up. Regardless, I'm enjoying the show and its intrigue.

Will Emily Thorne succeed in her quest for vengeance against those who harmed her family (something to do with her dad)? How much does she care about her boyfriend or are all her shows of affection just part of her revenge plan?

But, anyway, I got a nice, little giggle last night. When another character confronted her about her past, Emily called up someone who's been helping her and said, "I need your help...again." Dunh dunh dunh! Fade to black.

Why did that make me giggle? It was the "again" part. It was put in to tantalize viewers as we were introduced to a brand new character, Warden Stiles, and make us want to stick around through the commercial break.

But really? I'm pretty sure Warden Stiles remembers Emily asking her for help in the past. She doesn't need the reminder that this isn't the first time.

This probably caught my attention because of my writing aspirations. I'm more cognizant of word choices and what works and what doesn't as I strive to become a better writer (and published). Even when I'm reading books during my leisure time, part of my brain is still focused on craft and the choices the author makes.

I don't want the reader giggling or rolling their eyes, which takes them out of the story, when they're reading my books. I strive to make my writing, especially the dialogue, as natural as possible.

I like to think dialogue is one of my strong suits. It's my favorite part of writing in any case. I'm lucky (or crazy depending on your viewpoint) because my characters "speak" to each other in my head. It's very easy for me to go to that place in my mind where they're talking to each other (and thinking to themselves) and I just type it as it comes to me.

But I also like to read the dialogue out loud to make sure it really does sound as natural spoken out loud as it does in my head. I don't want to pat myself on my back too hard. :)

I also constantly ask myself, is this is how people talk? Is there a better way to say this?

This process works for me.

How would I have written the scene between Emily and Warden Stiles?

Emily: I need your help.

Warden: Again, Emily?

Emily: Yes. It's a matter of life and death.

Dunh dunh dunh. Fade to black.

OK, not great. But a little more natural - I think anyway.

What do you think? Am I totally off base? How would you have written the scene?